Carson City (Thursday), February 20, 2003


    Assembly called to order at 11:06 a.m.

    Mr. Speaker presiding.

    Roll called.

    All present.

    Prayer by the Chaplain, Pastor Albert Tilstra.

    For the members of this Body we ask Your guidance, but we do not want to forget the support personnel who make it possible for these women and men to function as they do. We thank You today for all the staff that work so faithfully to do the work behind the scenes. For the secretaries and clerks and, yes, even the janitors. We lift up those at the Front Desk who work so hard each day. For our Chief Clerk and all her helpers, we give You thanks. Help us always to be grateful for all those around us who give us support for what we do.


    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

    Assemblyman Oceguera moved that further reading of the Journal be dispensed with, and the Speaker and Chief Clerk be authorized to make the necessary corrections and additions.

    Motion carried.


Mr. Speaker:

    Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred Assembly Bill No. 6, has had the same under consideration, and begs leave to report the same back with the recommendation: Do pass.

    Also, your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred Assembly Bill No. 5, has had the same under consideration, and begs leave to report the same back with the recommendation: Do pass, and re-refer to the Committee on Ways and Means.

Ellen Koivisto, Chairman


Senate Chamber, Carson City, February 19, 2003

To the Honorable the Assembly:

    I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the Senate on this day passed Senate Bill No. 63.

    Also, I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the Senate on this day passed, as amended, Senate Bills Nos. 8, 70.

Mary Jo Mongelli

Assistant Secretary of the Senate


    By Assemblymen Chowning, Buckley, Perkins, Gibbons, Parks, Anderson, Andonov, Angle, Arberry, Atkinson, Beers, Brown, Carpenter, Christensen, Claborn, Collins, Conklin, Geddes, Giunchigliani, Goicoechea, Goldwater, Grady, Griffin, Gustavson, Hardy, Hettrick, Horne, Knecht, Koivisto, Leslie, Mabey, Manendo, Marvel, McClain, McCleary, Mortenson, Oceguera, Ohrenschall, Pierce, Sherer, Weber, and Williams; Senators Coffin, Care, O'Connell, Townsend, Cegavske, Amodei, Carlton, Hardy, Mathews, McGinness, Neal, Nolan, Raggio, Rawson, Rhoads, Schneider, Shaffer, Tiffany, Titus, Washington, and Wiener:

    Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 3—Granting administrative leave to legislative employees in recognition of their service to the 72nd Session of the Nevada Legislature.

    Assemblywoman Chowning moved the adoption of the resolution.

    Remarks by Assemblymen Chowning, Hettrick, and Ohrenschall.

    Resolution adopted.


    By Assemblymen Brown, Knecht, Anderson, Andonov, Arberry, Beers, Buckley, Carpenter, Chowning, Christensen, Geddes, Giunchigliani, Grady, Griffin, Gustavson, Hardy, Hettrick, Horne, Mabey, Marvel, McCleary, Mortenson, Oceguera, Perkins, Sherer, and Weber (by request):

    Assembly Bill No. 166—AN ACT relating to structured settlements; requiring the approval of the court for the transfer of the right to receive payment pursuant to a structured settlement; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Brown moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblyman Brown; Senators O'Connell, Amodei, Cegavske, and Hardy:

    Assembly Bill No. 167—AN ACT relating to public works; establishing a pilot program for the use of indefinite quantity contracts by the Clark County School District for certain public works; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Brown moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Government Affairs.

    Motion carried.

    Mr. Speaker announced if there were no objections, the Assembly would recess subject to the call of the Chair.

    Assembly in recess at 11:16 a.m.


    At 11:17 a.m.

    Mr. Speaker presiding.

    Quorum present.



    Assemblyman Brown moved that the action whereby Assembly Bill No. 167 was referred to the Committee on Government Affairs be rescinded.

    Motion carried.

    Assemblyman Brown moved that Assembly Bill No. 167 be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

    Motion carried.

    Mr. Speaker announced if there were no objections, the Assembly would recess subject to the call of the Chair.

    Assembly in recess at 11:17 a.m.


    At 11:23 a.m.

    Mr. Speaker presiding.

    Quorum present.

    By Assemblymen Giunchigliani, Anderson, Parks, Goldwater, Gibbons, Arberry, Atkinson, Buckley, Claborn, Collins, Conklin, Horne, Leslie, Manendo, and Williams; Senator Carlton:

    Assembly Bill No. 168—AN ACT relating to industrial insurance; requiring an insurer who provides industrial insurance in certain counties to ensure the availability of certain services for injured employees within those counties; revising the requirements for reimbursement for certain providers of health care; authorizing an injured employee to choose any physician or chiropractor under certain circumstances; revising the requirements for determining the percentage of disability for certain injuries and occupational diseases; authorizing a person who is aggrieved by a written determination of the Administrator or the failure of the Administrator to respond to a written request to appeal the determination or failure to respond to an appeals officer under certain circumstances; revising the requirements related to light-duty employment; increasing the compensation payable to an injured workman if his employer or an agent of his employer removes certain safeguards or protections under certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblywoman Giunchigliani moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

    Motion carried.

    By the Committee on Government Affairs:

    Assembly Bill No. 169—AN ACT relating to State Government; revising provisions governing voluntary deductions for employee organizations and labor organizations from the payroll of state officers and employees; repealing the authority of the State Controller to adopt regulations concerning such deductions; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Manendo moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Government Affairs.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblymen Manendo, Claborn, Ohrenschall, McClain, Gibbons, Arberry, Atkinson, Collins, Goldwater, Koivisto, Parks, and Williams:

    Assembly Bill No. 170—AN ACT relating to the Department of Motor Vehicles; providing that certain applicants for drivers’ licenses, instruction permits, identification cards and commercial drivers’ licenses may authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to forward to the Selective Service System personal information necessary for registration with the Selective Service System; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Manendo moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Transportation.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblyman Gustavson (by request):

    Assembly Bill No. 171—AN ACT relating to motor vehicles; increasing the maximum amount of the fee that the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles is required to establish for the Program for the Education of Motorcycle Riders; reducing the required period for which a person must have held a motorcycle driver’s license or endorsement to apply to be an instructor for the Program for the Education of Motorcycle Riders; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Gustavson moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Transportation.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblymen Parks, Buckley, Goldwater, Conklin, Chowning, Anderson, Arberry, Atkinson, Gibbons, Giunchigliani, Goicoechea, Horne, Koivisto, Leslie, Manendo, McClain, McCleary, Mortenson, Oceguera, Ohrenschall, Perkins, Pierce, and Williams; Senators Titus, Neal, Care, and Wiener:

    Assembly Bill No. 172—AN ACT relating to insurance; prohibiting the delivery or issuance for delivery in this state of a policy of insurance against liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a private motor vehicle if the premium for the policy is determined using a factor of geography or territory other than the geographic service region in which the insured motor vehicle is garaged; requiring a policy of liability insurance for a motor vehicle to include a provision for the reduction of the premium for certain persons who have a record of safe driving; requiring the Commissioner of Insurance to establish geographic service regions; providing a penalty; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Parks moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblyman Arberry:

    Assembly Bill No. 173—AN ACT relating to public employees; increasing the salaries of certain forensic specialists employed by the State; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Arberry moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

    Motion carried.

    By Assemblymen Arberry and Williams:

    Assembly Bill No. 174—AN ACT relating to underutilized businesses; requiring under certain circumstances a preference for such businesses with respect to purchasing by local governments and contracting for public works; requiring certain licensees of the Nevada Gaming Commission to establish goals concerning contracting with underutilized businesses; providing that certain public bodies may give a preference in selecting a professional engineer, professional land surveyor or registered architect who subcontracts with or receives supplies from underutilized businesses; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Arberry moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

    Motion carried.


    Assemblyman Arberry moved that the action whereby Assembly Bill
No. 174 was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor be rescinded.

    Motion carried.

    Assemblyman Arberry moved that Assembly Bill No. 174 be referred to the Committee on Government Affairs.

    Motion carried.


    By the Committee on Education:

    Assembly Bill No. 175—AN ACT relating to school districts; providing for the appointment of a temporary replacement to a board of trustees of a school district for a member who enters active military service; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    Assemblyman Williams moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Education.

    Motion carried.

    Senate Bill No. 8.             

    Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

    Motion carried.

    Senate Bill No. 63.

    Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

    Motion carried.

    Senate Bill No. 70.

    Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

    Motion carried.

general file and third reading

    Assembly Bill No. 26.

    Bill read third time.

    Remarks by Assemblyman Oceguera.

    Roll call on Assembly Bill No. 26:



    Assembly Bill No. 26 having received a constitutional majority,
Mr. Speaker declared it passed.

    Bill ordered transmitted to the Senate.

    Assembly Bill No. 46.

    Bill read third time.

    Remarks by Assemblyman Grady.

    Roll call on Assembly Bill No. 46:



    Assembly Bill No. 46 having received a constitutional majority,
Mr. Speaker declared it passed, as amended.

    Bill ordered transmitted to the Senate.


    Assemblywoman Koivisto moved that Assembly Bill No. 5 be re-referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

    Motion carried.

    Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the Assembly recess until 4:50 p.m.

    Motion carried.

    Assembly in recess at 11:43 a.m.


    At 5:13 p.m.

    Mr. Speaker presiding.

    Quorum present.


    Mr. Speaker appointed Assemblymen Collins and Sherer as a committee to invite the Senate to meet in Joint Session with the Assembly to hear an address by United States Representative Jim Gibbons.

    The members of the Senate appeared before the Bar of the Assembly.

    Mr. Speaker invited the members of the Senate to chairs in the Assembly


    At 5:22 p.m.

    President of the Senate presiding.

    The Secretary of the Senate called the Senate roll.

    All present except Senators Coffin and Raggio, who were excused.

    The Chief Clerk of the Assembly called the Assembly roll.

    All present except for Assemblymen Anderson and Marvel, who were excused.

    Presentation of the Colors by the Sparks High School ROTC.

    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

    Special musical rendition by Miss Cethe Autumn Choux, accompanied by Ms. Sue Parkhurst.

    The President of the Senate appointed a Committee on Escort consisting of Senator McGinness and Assemblywoman Gibbons to wait upon Representative Gibbons and escort him to the Assembly Chamber.

    The Committee on Escort in company with The Honorable Jim Gibbons, United States Representative from Nevada, appeared before the Bar of the Assembly.

    The Committee on Escort escorted the Representative to the rostrum.

    Mr. Speaker welcomed Representative Gibbons and invited him to deliver his message.

    United States Representative Jim Gibbons delivered his message as follows:

Message To The Legislature Of Nevada

SeventY-second Session, 2003

    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Governor and Mrs. Guinn, Lieutenant Governor Hunt, Leaders Raggio and Titus, Leaders Buckley and Hettrick, members of the Legislature, distinguished guests, and fellow Nevadans. Thank you for your kind reception. It is such an honor to be standing here in the well of this House talking to you this evening. Thank you for inviting me back to the Legislature as you conduct a very important work on behalf of the citizens of Nevada.

    To begin with this evening, I would like to share with you a simple story of
Edgar Watson Howe. You probably have never heard of Edgar Watson Howe, the sage of
Potato Hill, but around the turn of the last century he was a well-known homespun newspaper editor in Atchison, Kansas, and a champion of the common people. Howe put his faith in the governed, rather than in the system. He once wrote, “The government is mainly an expensive organization to regulate evildoers and tax those who behave; government does little for fairly respectable people, except annoy them.”  My friends, the more things change the more they stay the same. We all know how important the challenges are, and how difficult the decisions will necessarily be in the months ahead. Tonight it is a pleasure for me to provide my insights on matters affecting us here at home, throughout the country, and the world abroad. But, I certainly did not come here to annoy you.

    Since my last visit here two years ago, the world has changed dramatically. Thousands of people have lost their lives; whole communities have been shattered due to terrorism in this country. And now, ladies and gentlemen, we are a nation at war, fighting enemies spread all across the globe, enemies who hide out in small groups of five or six people, in countries of millions, including our own backyard. This was not our desire for the future, but the choice was not ours, the choice was theirs. Our enemies seek to undermine freedom and basic human rights. They continue to disregard the rule of international law and they continue to threaten America and our allies. Here at home, we strive to protect our borders, our infrastructure, and our citizens, while at the same time, we continue to face the economic aftershocks of September 11, 2001, and the terrorists’ attacks on our country.

    We all know that Nevada’s economy was hit particularly hard. Our tourism-based economy, which is largely measured by occupied hotel rooms, sold-out shows, filled convention halls, and crowded casino floors, has yet to see a full recovery, but, these are indeed historic times; times when we are struggling to keep the American dream alive. I know when I was younger the American dream meant owning your own home and having little babies running around the halls, but when they became teenagers, I changed my American dream. Oh, it is still owning my own home, but it’s getting those little babies out of that home and on to their own.

    As the saying goes, home is where the heart is, and I would like to begin with where my heart is: right here in Nevada, with my family sitting here, especially my first grandchild,
Grant Gibbons. Grant’s first birthday was just a few days ago. I am also proud to be here with so many friends, and, yes, while we may sometimes differ politically, we all love Nevada. The state of Nevada faces many challenges, but we are not alone. States all across this nation are confronting revenue shortfalls, forcing you, the stewards of the precious tax dollars, into making very difficult decisions. Yet, that is why many of you chose to run for office, to make the tough decisions. I know I did. And now you, my friends, have been entrusted by your respective constituencies to do just that.

    Signs of economic recovery in Nevada, and throughout the nation, are steady but precarious and frustratingly slow. The slightest push in the wrong direction will destabilize our economic recovery. Nevada is fortunate to have one of its own on the front lines, developing strategies to help our state’s economy. This year, Lynn Hettrick will become the National Chairman of the Council of State Governments. Congratulations, Lynn. In this capacity, Lynn will not only develop ideas to improve Nevada’s economy, but he will seek goals in developing a better relationship between state and federal governments.

    We all understand that the first step to economic recovery is restoring consumer confidence. In our economy, every able-bodied American must be confident that they will have a job today, a paycheck on Friday, with enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month, and in the end, they must be confident that they will have a secure retirement. This is by no means an easy task, but it must be one of our principal goals. I believe accomplishing this goal will restore and renew that peace of mind so that many Americans will once again take to the highways and skies, and come to visit Nevada and enjoy our great attractions, even if just to visit their investment in this state.

    Indeed, lessons are being learned from our recent budget shortfall. We all realize that Nevada can no longer rely solely on its two largest economic industries, gaming and mining, just to pay the bills. While one industry, gaming, spreads like wildfire across the country, now legal in almost every state, the other is under constant attack by well-funded, special interest groups who seek either to obstruct, regulate, or sue them out of business. The thoughtful minds of
Lorraine Hunt, Bill Raggio, Richard Perkins, Bernice Martin Mathews, David Goldwater, and many others, all continue to lead our State in the effort of diversification, and they clearly deserve our praise for helping diversify our economy.

    My friends, there is a legitimate concern from our fellow Nevadans that tax policy, whether it originates in Washington, D.C., or here in Carson City, is often being formulated under the wrong set of priorities. In Washington, we are presently considering tax relief measures that will help speed up our economic recovery. As Sir Winston Churchill once said at a time when England was also suffering from some of the same conditions that we are in the United States,  “A nation trying to lift itself into prosperity by raising taxes is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.”  We could actually use some of that Nevada-born common sense in fighting for tax and spending discipline in our nation’s capital. I want to tell you that Monday my plane leaves for Washington, D.C., and, Senator O’Connell, I’ll save you a seat.

    We are presently developing tax relief proposals in Washington, under the leadership of President Bush, that will speed up our economic recovery, and most importantly, put Americans back to work. Though some would like you to believe otherwise, our plan helps all federal taxpayers in every income bracket, including the low- and middle-income taxpayers. For example, a typical middle-income family of four, with a combined income of $40,000, will have their federal income tax lowered from approximately $1,200 per year to $45 per year, under this plan. Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you that survived math in elementary school, that is a 96 percent decrease in their federal income tax obligation. That is real tax savings for low- and middle-income families in this country. And to be fair, those in the highest earning income will eventually be paying a larger share of the tax revenues. Most importantly, our plan will relieve a record 39 million taxpaying working Americans from ever having to pay taxes again.
The lowest income bracket categories will be eliminated from having to pay federal income tax. We accomplish this by speeding up the marginal rate cuts so that they take place this fiscal year, rather than waiting for them to be phased in between 2004 and 2010. Our plan accelerates the per-child tax credit immediately; it completely eliminates the marriage tax penalty; and finally condemns to the grave, once and for all, the onerous and unfair death tax. But most importantly, in my opinion, we must make these tax cuts permanent. No matter the timing, it is already public law that these tax cuts are in place and these tax cuts will take place over the next eight years even if we do nothing. When the Congress passed these cuts under the President’s leadership just two years ago it received overwhelming bipartisan support. Many of us remain hopeful that legislation making these cuts permanent will receive the same level of support. What happens if we fail?  If we fail to make these cuts permanent, we end up right back where we were two years ago with American working families paying historically high taxes. Think of it this way, if Congress fails to make these tax cuts permanent, mark your calendars, Americans will automatically, and without choice, experience the largest tax increase in our nation’s history on January 1, 2011.

    I often hear people ask, “How does this help restore consumer confidence?” Some have and will continue to argue that cutting taxes and choking off the revenue stream to government is causing some serious discomfort within the halls of government and, indeed, in the halls of Congress. But if our economy is causing discomfort, isn’t our duty to look first, and foremost, at the discomfort of the taxpayer and not the discomfort of government? No citizen of this state, or in any state for that matter, should fall for what has been presented as a false choice. The debate is not about having to pass massive tax increases so that we can preserve the helping hand of the federal government. As a matter of fact, many would argue that you strengthen our national government by making it more efficient, and therefore, more focused and effective in its mission. Quite simply, you cannot demand the taxpayers to discipline themselves during tough times if the same has not already been completely and thoroughly demanded of government. We are fortunate that in our government we have thousands of men and women who are working hard to carry out important, and oftentimes necessary, government programs. But now more than ever, we must carefully determine where we draw the line between balancing a government program’s checkbook against the taxpayer’s checkbook. As families all across Nevada realize, you base your spending on how much you earn; you don’t base your earnings on how much you want to spend. The hurdle presented by the Tax Restraint Initiative was motivated by these very principles and it will, once again, play a role in this historic session of your Legislature. These are tough decisions, but you are the right people, at the right time, serving this state, and ultimately, you will do what is best for Nevada’s citizens.

    Another lesson Nevadans have learned is that economic security cannot be achieved without first ensuring personal security. On October 4, 2001, less than one month after the horrific terrorist attacks on our country, I introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to establish a Department on Homeland Security. This legislation set out to merge the functions of 100 different federal agencies having overlapping jurisdiction and responsibility for some portion of homeland security. I felt this was necessary to ensure that our government is better able to protect its citizens and to protect you in Nevada as well. Not long after that legislation was introduced, I had the honor and privilege to meet with the President at the White House as he unveiled his support for this legislation, creating this new department. Through a series of tough negotiations and the usual turf battles between legislatures and administrations, between committee chairmen and heads of federal agencies, we did what was needed and right for the American people. On November 25 of last year, the President signed into law the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. This set into motion the largest reorganization of our federal government since World War II, over years ago. Now, our task and challenge is to make it work.

    It was an honor for me to have Nevada’s Homeland Security Chief, Jerry Bussell, with me at the White House signing ceremony and I’m glad he has joined us here this evening. As Jerry knows, in any true challenge in life, the work isn’t easy, but the rewards are always beyond measure. Thank you, Jerry, for the important work you do in protecting Nevada citizens, as well as protecting those who like to pay us a visit from time to time. The work that Jerry and thousands of other Americans tend to each day, on the front lines of homeland defense, is critical to our personal well-being, and it is critical to our economic well-being. The attacks of September 11 introduced global terrorism right onto America’s front doorstep. For the first time in decades, Americans now truly understand the importance of foreign policy. The light-heartedness of the ‘90s has been replaced by a new seriousness about our future in the
twenty-first century. That is why we continue day after day, week after week, to hunt down terrorists, both here at home and abroad. I was glad to see that just yesterday we indicted eight more terrorists, including a college professor in southern Florida. Our war on terrorism is an effort that will likely outlive most of us in this room.

    One year ago, I became the proud grandparent of a beautiful baby boy. Now, I’ll tell you, if that doesn’t make you want to strengthen Social Security, nothing will. But it makes me want to support even more those who serve and protect our country and our future. In doing so, my grandson, Grant, and your children and grandchildren, can look back on our effort—yours and mine—and take pride that we rose to the occasion just as our parents and grandparents did in World War II.

    On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked our country. It was one of the darkest days in our history. We must be prepared to say, “never again”; never again to the darkness of terrorism, and do it with a focus and determination. We will continue to disrupt these terrorists; we will continue to frustrate them; we will continue to apprehend them, one by one. We will bring swift and certain justice to each and every one of them.

    While we continue the effort to better protect our homeland, we face brutal dictators and regimes abroad. But we do not have to go back far in the history of this country to see the history of our efforts in this area. Those of us old enough to remember 1964 and the Cuban Missile Crisis know President Kennedy saw a threat, an imminent threat, with the missiles in Cuba. He began to mobilize a war effort. In 1998, President Clinton used military forces and set out to dislodge the brutal dictator, Slobodan Milosevic. He did that to ensure regional peace and national security. Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentleman, there are other rogue regimes such as those of Saddam Hussein and North Korea’s Kim Jung Il, who pose an immediate threat to our national security. Many ask whether the threats posed by these rogue regimes are real. Oftentimes I hear the question, “Are they imminent?” I’m not sure if imminent isn’t a French word. Ladies and gentleman, it is a valid concern, and it is a debate that we should welcome whenever we put our troops in harm’s way. But to address this concern, ask yourself the following question:  If you were in a room and through the door walked a known criminal with a known, violent record of murder and mayhem, who was armed with a gun, would you consider it an imminent threat when the bullet was halfway between the gun and you? Of course not. We know how to handle violent thugs here at home. Sadly, this process is carried out, each and every day, on the streets of America. When our law enforcement learns of a violent criminal who has just acquired illegal weapons, they don’t sit around and wait to see if the criminal will use the weapon. They go get him. Thank goodness for their bravery. Thank goodness for their service to our communities as well.

    Ladies and gentlemen, complacency is deadly when it comes to national security. If we do not face the world’s dangers head-on, if we do not proactively use American power to promote our values and make the world a more just place, the enemies of freedom will prevail. And that is something I cannot and I’m not willing to ever accept. Folks, if we wait until the bullet has been fired, if we wait for Saddam to attack our friends and our allies with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, if we wait for him to sell his weapons to terrorists so that they, as agents of Saddam, can deliver them right here to the United States—it is too late. By that time, what is imminent is no longer up for debate. It is no longer up for interpretation. By that time, it is no longer a threat, it is an attack and many more Americans will lose their lives. I cannot accept that, and I hope that neither can you. We’ve been deliberate. We’ve been patient in addressing this threat, and we have exhausted all reasonable diplomatic options.

    The citizens of this country and the United Nations have understood for some time that it has been, and it will be, up to Saddam to voluntarily disclose his weapons and actively disarm them. It is not up to the United States to play hide-and-seek with Saddam Hussein. It has also been understood and agreed to by the United Nations in Resolution No. 1441 that if he continued to defy and deceive the world, we would lead a coalition to disarm him. I ask you: What, therefore, is the purpose that we achieve by asking, time and time again, for continued passage of resolutions asking for the same thing?   It is similar to the judgments made right here in this very Chamber, in this building or in the Halls of Congress. As legislators, we would not be writing new laws each time we passed one, only to find that no one is enforcing it. We would want to make sure that agencies are doing what we have asked them to do the first time. In order for the UN to remain relevant in this world, it must enforce already passed resolutions rather than calling for new ones each time their resolutions are not adhered to.

    As a veteran, as a father, and as a grandfather, I strongly believe that going to war should always, always be the last resort. But just as we found out in 1964, just as we found out in 1998, when freedom, safety, and stability are at risk, sometimes we just have to fight. Yes, this war, if it does occur, will be costly. You can expect the price of gasoline to go up again. Yes, it will be costly in terms of human lives. That is the sad tragedy of any war. We’ve already lost thousands of American lives. We found out long ago that freedom isn’t free, but we must never sink back into the illusion that if we do nothing, we will be safe and free.

    In the months ahead, we must not only rally around our troops to ensure that they have the proper support from our government and citizens, but we must also keep in mind those they have left behind. Americans rarely wane in their support for their military men and women as they sacrifice for our country, but too often, we forget about the sacrifices of their families. Nevadans have played a vital role in almost every significant military operation our nation has undertaken. There are soldiers, sailors, and airmen from all over the state: from Naval Air Station Fallon, Nellis Air Force Base, our National Guard and Reserve men and women. Their families, right now, are making this sacrifice, not for themselves, but for you and for me and for
Grant Gibbons, whom they do not even know—for all America.

    Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor here tonight to introduce to you and to the state, three great Nevadans who are serving our nation and helping lead us out of the darkness of terrorism. First is Captain Andra Kneip. Andra, would you please stand. As anyone can see, she’s not a guy and she flies fighters. Andra, who is an A-10 pilot, on the night of March 5 spent an exhausting eight hours flying in enemy territory fighting entrenched Afghan gun emplacements which were shooting at her, as well as defending U.S. ground forces that were pinned down by Al Qaida enemy fire. Throughout this long and dangerous mission, Captain Kneip was credited with saving the lives of numerous U.S. forces. She was recently awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses for her selfless acts of courage. Andra’s husband, Major Scott Kneip, is also an A-10 pilot and was active in the war in Afghanistan. By the way, he is a native of
Winnemucca, Nevada. Both are exemplary Nevadans serving at Nellis Air Force Base. They both deserve our thanks, and we do thank you for everything you’ve done for our country.

    Also with us tonight, I have the honor to introduce another brave young man who has just been awarded one of our nation’s highest awards, the Silver Star, for gallantry in action in Afghanistan. This young man was a helicopter pilot on a medical evacuation mission when Operation Anaconda began. While en route to his destination, he learned that three soldiers were pinned down and suffering a withering barrage of heavy fire from the enemy. He diverted his helicopter to the battle area, he located the three soldiers, and only by jeopardizing his own life was he able to rescue these three soldiers while under heavy fire. Not only did he save these three soldiers so they could come home to their families after the operation was finished, but he made a difference in the battle for freedom. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome First Lieutenant Thomas J. Cahill, United States Air Force, and his two sons who are with him. He is another American hero from Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base. Lieutenant Cahill, please stand. Ladies and gentleman, these are just three of America’s finest. I want to thank them for taking the time to come here this evening to be with us; most importantly, for showing all of us how to stand up to terrorists.

    There are many other issues, besides national security, demanding our attention. Nevada is faced with one of the worst nursing shortages in the entire nation. While the average age of registered nurses in Nevada continues to rise, we attract fewer and fewer bright men and women into this important field. I want to congratulate Assemblywoman Koivisto, who has made this issue a priority for her committee. Madam Chairman, thank you for leading the charge in this effort. You’re truly making a difference in the fight for quality health care for all Nevadans.

    Nevada is continuing its fight for fair and open public land policies, especially those affecting our natural resources and energy development needs. Last year, we established a model for cooperation in the Clark County Public Lands Bill. With the outstanding help of
Senator Harry Reid and Senator John Ensign, this legislation provided for the sound and equitable disposal of developable lands to accommodate Nevada’s tremendous growth, while setting aside more than 450,000 acres of land for wilderness protection. We worked with land users, we worked with recreational users, and we worked with environmental groups to accomplish two basic goals: provide land for responsible growth and protect the environment for future generations. In the end, we compromised where we could, we dug in our heels where we couldn’t, and eventually we reached a delicate balance in accomplishing our goals. It was the right approach, at the right time, and it was the right thing to do.

    You know, in Washington, D.C., I am always telling people how much I love Nevada. Most importantly, I always love when Nevadans come out to Washington and stop by my office for a visit. But there is one group that I especially like to see. They come in wearing their boots and their cowboy hats, and occasionally even attempt at a tie. This group really makes heads turn as they walk through the halls of Congress. They head down the corridor of the Cannon House Office Building, with people stopping and staring as if believing the gunfight at the OK Corral is about to break out. I can hear my neighbors down the hall, from Florida, New Hampshire, and from Massachusetts saying, “Oh no, Gibbons has his posse in town.”  I just tell them, “Yes, I do. And I’m darned proud of each and every one of them.” I am talking about those Nevadans who spend each and every day of their lives fighting to protect our Western Heritage, our traditions and our industries such as farming, ranching, mining, hunting, and recreational opportunities. I’m talking about those people, of course, in this very room, like Dean Rhoads,
Mike McGinness, Pete Goicoechea, John Carpenter, John Marvel, Tom Collins, and
Jerry Claborn, just to name a few. I’ll tell you, when they get together, they’re a sight to be seen. To each of you, thanks for all of your hard work in preserving the Nevada we all know and love.

    And finally, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to talk about our state’s priorities without talking about our commitment to Nevada’s veterans population. There are many veterans right here in this room tonight who do not get the recognition for their service to our nation. People like Assemblyman Walter Andonov, who has made the great sacrifices for our country. However, too many times, we fail to thank them for their sacrifices and their service. So tonight, ladies and gentleman, before I end my remarks, I want to read into the record a letter from the Chief of Naval Operations thanking one special veteran. And that person is someone we have all worked with and learned to love and appreciate over his 40 years of legislative service to our country and to our state. I would like to read into the record, Mr. Speaker, a letter from the Chief of Naval Operations:

Dear Senator Jacobsen,

      Please allow me to add my congratulations on this historic day for the Jacobsen family and the state of Nevada. On behalf of all the men and women of the United States Navy, I’m very proud and honored to be able to convey our gratitude for your selfless service to our nation in so many different capacities.

      Your voluntary enlistment in the Navy began more than two years before the onslaught of World War II. Serving in the Pacific Fleet, you witnessed not only the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the battles of Midway, Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, and a dozen other historic engagements now commonly recognized as some of the fiercest naval battles in world history. You made a commitment to our country that has been unwavering throughout the decades, collecting more Navy memories and adventures in your nearly seven years of active duty than most sailors accumulate in a full thirty-year career. You shifted your sights to the private sector and ultimately heeded the call to public office.

      As distinguished as your time in the Navy may have been, your commitment to Nevada and its citizens support of you has been reinforced throughout forty years of legendary service. Our sailors work hard to honor the legacy of those who have served and sacrificed before them. As they pledge to support and defend our Constitution, they do so knowing you have sailed and fought before them. And thank you for it.


Admiral Vernon Clark, U.S.N.

Chief of Naval Operations

    Jake, I want you to know I have the original of this copy framed and I will get it to you as soon as I can. Jake, you have been a bright, shining beacon for a lot of us here tonight, and I, for one, want to publicly thank you for all you have done for Nevada.

    And as I leave here tonight, ladies and gentleman, to return to the eye of the storm in Washington, D.C., to represent you and fight for Nevada, I want to thank you for inviting me to speak with you this evening. As I turn and close the pages of this speech, I want you to know my thoughts are with you because I know your challenges are great and that there are no easy answers and there is no easy path. I know you will do what is right for Nevada. You are all good friends and Nevada is truly blessed to have your leadership and your service. Nevada is in good hands. Good luck to each and every one of you. God bless this great country. Good evening.

    Senator Rhoads moved that the Senate and Assembly in Joint Session extend a vote of thanks to Representative Gibbons for his timely, able, and constructive message.

    Seconded by Assemblyman Grady.

    Motion carried unanimously.

    The Committee on Escort escorted Representative Gibbons to the Bar of the Assembly.

    Senator Rawson moved that the Joint Session be dissolved.

    Seconded by Assemblyman Christensen.

    Motion carried.

                Joint Session dissolved at 6:18 p.m.


    At 6:19 p.m.

    Mr. Speaker presiding.

    Quorum present.


    On request of Assemblywoman Angle, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Bill Reeves.

    On request of Assemblyman Geddes, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Tom Miller.

    On request of Assemblyman Goicoechea, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Morgan Tucker and
Cassie Wylie.

    On request of Assemblyman Grady, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Ashley Smith.

    On request of Assemblyman Hardy, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Michael Ryan and
James E. Inman.

    On request of Assemblyman Hettrick, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Pete Perez, Stacy Perez, and Mason Perez.

    On request of Assemblyman Knecht, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to John Pierce.

    On request of Assemblywoman Leslie, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Miguel Mendoza.

    On request of Assemblywoman McClain, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Venicia Considine.

    Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the Assembly adjourn until Friday, February 21, 2003, at 10:30 a.m., and it do so in the memory of
Richard Marvel.

    Motion carried.

    Assembly adjourned at 6:20 p.m. 

Approved:                                                                Richard D. Perkins

                                                                                  Speaker of the Assembly

Attest:    Jacqueline Sneddon

                    Chief Clerk of the Assembly